Moment 'Blade Runner' takes down Ulez cameras in front of bemused diners after vow to keep attacking eco-scheme

14 August 2023, 15:26

"Blade Runners" have targeted Ulez cameras
"Blade Runners" have targeted Ulez cameras. Picture: Facebook/Alamy

By Will Taylor

This is the moment an anti-Ulez "Blade Runner" takes down the scheme's cameras as bemused diners watch on.

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An activist is seen damaging them with a pole and and cutters as he rips them down at dark.

A group of people eating at a restaurant watch on but nobody challenges the "runner" as he tackles two cameras.

Those devices film vehicles as they go into a Ulez area and if it does not meet environmental requirements the driver is fined £12.50.

Sadiq Khan argues that it is vital for tackling air pollution and he says most cars on London's streets are compliant.

Read more: Ulez expansion rules: Map, start date and whether your vehicle is compliant

He has also created a widespread scrappage scheme that offers financial help for people, businesses and charities that need to replace their car.

But opposition is strong, with critics saying it only hurts ordinary people's wallets.

Don't see anyone complaining as this #ULEZ Blade Runner goes about their business...

Posted by Andrew Bowen on Thursday, August 10, 2023

They are also incensed by Khan's plan to expand Ulez across all of London from later in August.

It is unclear when the video was taken, but the "Blade Runners" have previously threatened to keep targeting the cameras if the London mayor presses on.

One activist, who said he had taken down more than 30 by April, insisted at the time there were about 100 more like him.

"We are going to take down every single one no matter what," he said.

Read more: Keir Starmer scraps plans for UK-wide Ulez rollouts after Sadiq Khan's clean air measure blamed for by-election loss

Khan believes Ulez is key to tackling air pollution
Khan believes Ulez is key to tackling air pollution. Picture: Alamy

"In terms of damage it's way more than what [Sadiq Khan and Transport for London] have stated. It's at least a couple of hundred.

"Snipping, damaging with hammers, painting, disabling on a circuit level and removing. They are unbolted and they are snipped.

"The tools they use to install them are the ones we use to remove it. We don't want this. It's a way to try to... restrict our movements.

"F*** them. It will not happen because we haven't done anything to deserve it."

In a sign of how polarising the issue has become, Sir Keir Starmer has ditched plans to bring in Ulez-type areas across the UK.

It came after Khan's expansion of the London air pollution measure was blamed for the recent by-election loss in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, which the Tories turned into a referendum on the policy.

Labour had planned to include the measure with a statement backing the clean air zones set to be written into its policy programme, but thag has been axed from the latest version of the programme.

Some Tories, meanwhile, have called on the government to distance itself from some green schemes as suggestions emerged they could get traction out of being seen as pro-motorist as measures like Ulez and low traffic neighbourhoods take hold in Britain's towns and cities.